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Countdown to Blue-White / 29 Days: Can Penn State Sellout MetLife Stadium?

by on March 22, 2013 6:00 AM

Penn State will take on Syracuse to open the 2013 season at MetLife Stadium just outside New York City and the question remains: can the game sellout?

For Penn State fans New York and New Jersey are two of the largest alumni hotbeds outside of the state. New Jersey is home to 25,529 Penn State alumni according to Penn State Alumni Association Executive Director Roger Williams. Some of them live in the New York City area, which includes more than 27,000 Penn State graduates. 25,000 alumni live in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and over 8,000 alumni call the Baltimore area home.

In total that's over 80,000 alumni within three and half hours drive from the game.

In 2010, the last time the Nittany Lions played a neutral site game FedEx Field saw over 78,000 fans fill the stands of the 91,000 seat stadium. The Penn State faithful outnumbered Indiana fans almost 3-to-1 during the 41-24 blowout. Considering the nine hour drive from Bloomington Indiana to Landover, Maryland it wasn't a surprise so few Hoosier fans made the trip.

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POLL: How Many Will Attend Penn State-Syracuse?


When Syracuse took on No.2 USC last season at MetLife Stadium, the Orange fans came out strong with a crowd of almost 40,000. A contest against Penn State ought to bring out a large Syracuse following again and with MetLife Stadium's 82,566 seat capacity it shouldn't take too much of an effort for the Penn State faithful and Syracuse local to fill the Super Bowl XLVIII hosting venue.

“We look forward to starting our 2013 season by rekindling an age-old rivalry against a prestigious Penn State program,” said Syracuse Football Coach Scott Shafer earlier this year.  “It is a great opportunity for us to kick off the three-game series with the Nittany Lions in front of one of our largest alumni fan bases at MetLife Stadium.”

Interestingly, the Nittany Lions will be opening the season at the Meadowlands for the sixth time, having beaten Rutgers (1977), Georgia Tech (1991) and USC (1996) and losing to Nebraska (1983) and USC (2000). Bill O'Brien has coached in MetLife Stadium twice in his career with the Patriots. New England lost in its first game at the new stadium in 2010 before winning during O'Brien's last season with the team 37-16 over the Jets on Nov.13. 

Public tickets for the Penn State-Syracuse game, which range in price from $75 to $175, go on sale Monday, April 22 at 10 a.m. ET through Ticketmaster.

Do you think Penn State and Syracuse can fill MetLife Stadium? Vote in the poll above.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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